JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS

A News Blog

Less than a month before Venezuela's elections, President Hugo Chavez accused media liked CNN in Spanish, The New York Times, and Grupo Prisa of Spain of orchestrating a campaign of "intrigues" and "lies" about his government and of sabotaging the coming elections, reported the news agency AFP and the magazine Semana. read more »

The Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) warned that the sentencing of Peruvian journalist Fernando Santos Rojas to one year in jail for aggravated defamation severely limits freedom of expression. read more »

Colombian police de-activated a bomb alleged FARC guerrillas left outside Linda Estéreo, a community radio station in the town of El Doncello, Caquetá, reported EFE and RCN Radio. read more »

The Mexican press has become a target for drug-related violence, prompting a company to promote its bullet-proof vests as a way of protecting members of the media, according to Clarín and news agencies. read more »

The president of the Chilean journalists guild, Rodrigo Miranda, criticized the country's mainstream media for ignoring the hunger strike, that began July 12, by 32 indigenous Mapuches imprisoned in southern Chile, reported BBC Mundo. read more »

A car bomb exploded in the early hours Friday, Aug, 27, at the doors of Mexican T.V. network Televisa in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, reported CNN, El Universal and Milenio. The explosion caused damages to the building, taking the channel off the air, but hurting no one. read more »

The vice president of Guatemala, Rafael Espada, tried to sue Marta Yolanda Díaz-Durán for libel, insult and defamation after she wrote a column published a year ago in the newspaper Siglo Veintiuno, but the Constitutional Court this week dismissed the complaint on the grounds that the journalist only expressed her opinion in the media, reported Cerigua. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Operation gag (opinion) (Prensa Libre)
» Now we are less free than before (opinion) (Siglo Veintiuno)

Israel Zelaya Díaz, a renowned radio journalist from San Pedro Sula, was found dead outside the city with three bullet wounds, reported Radio-Info and La Tribuna. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Motive not yet known in death of journalist (Reporters Without Borders)
» Honduran government blamed for rash of journalist killings (Knight Center)
» A year after the coup, Honduras deadly for journalists (Knight Center)

Frank La Rue and Catalinta Botero, special rapporteurs for the United Nations and the Organization of American States, respectively, for freedom of expression, gave their preliminary observations from their official mission to Mexico, warning that the situation in the country was grave, reported BBC Mundo and El Universal. read more »

Giant U.S. communications company Time Warner reached an agreement to purchase Chilevisión, the network of Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, for $140 million, reported La Tercera. read more »

The Venezuelan Supreme Court approved the request to seek extradition of Walid Makled, alleged Venezuelan drug dealer arrested in Colombia last week, reported the Associated Press. Makled is considered the mastermind behind the 2009 killing of journalist Orel Sambrano, according to El Universal. read more »

Even as controversy erupted in Venezuela over a ban on the publication of violent photos, in Colombia a senator from the ruling coalition has offered up a bill that would prohibit the publication of "mildly pornographic" or sensational images in print media and websites, reported El Espectador and the news agency Europa Press. read more »

A judge issued an order to capture Juan Alcívar, correspondent for the newspaper La Hora de Esmeraldas and the radio station El Nuevo Sol, who is accused of throwing a tear gas bomb in the compound where President Rafael Correa lead a political rally La Concordia in July, reported EFE and Radio Sucre. read more »

Alleged members of the organized crime group Los Zetas directly threatened the editors of La Jornada Zacatecas, Imagen, and El Diario NTR– all based in the state of Zacatecas– and demanded they put a letter denouncing the Mexican military on the front page of their newspapers, La Jornada reports. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Kidnapped journalists from Durango request US asylum (Excélsior)
» Hundreds of Mexican journalists march to demand an end to violence and intimidation (Knight Center)
» Threats against journalists: "You're vulnerable, and it's hard to accept" (Inter Press Service)

The government of Alan García backtracked and re-instituted the operating license for La Voz de Bagua (The Voice of Bagua), the small radio station closed more than a year ago after the violent unrest in this province of the Peruvian Amazon, reported La República and EFE. read more »

The Thomson Reuters Foundation is organizing a course on covering natural disasters and humanitarian crises, IJNet reports. Full-time reporters working for media outlets in Central America and the Caribbean are invited to apply.

The classes be taught in English and will take place Jan. 17-21, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The deadline to apply is Dec. 10, 2010. read more »

The Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression at the Organization of American States (OAS), Carolina Botero, outlined 13 aspects of the proposed Communication Law that need to be changed or clarified, Hoy reports. read more »

In light of the investigation into the publication of a photo of dead bodies in a Caracas morgue, a Venezuelan court banned for a month the national press from publishing "violent, bloody, or grotesque images, whether of crime or not," that can affect children and adolescents, reported The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Judicial ruling prohibiting media in Venezuela from publishing violent photos called "censorship" (EFE)
» The government, the press and a packed morgue in between (Inter Press Service)
» Venezuela bars publishing violent photos for 30 days (CNN)

The release of various political prisoners does not mean Cuban authorities are tolerating any type of free expression on the island. read more »

Mexican authorities are investigating grenade attacks at the offices of media giant Televisa in the cities of Matamoros and Monterrey. The first incident happened in Matamoros the night of Saturday, Aug. 14, and no one was injured. In the case of Monterrey, the attack occurred at dawn on Sunday, slightly injuring two employees and damaging a car and nearby buildings, reported Agencia Reforma and La Crónica de Hoy. read more »

Other Related Headlines:
» Under threat from Mexican drug cartels, reporters go silent (Los Angeles Times)